Pathogens of a sneeze can survive up to 45 minutes suspended in the air
Somebody sneezes on the bus without covering their mouths and all of a sudden we all look at each other. In this world of air-conditioned and crazy temperatures, colds spread very easily. So the tension grows in the environment. But it passes quickly because, overall, how long can those bacteria last away from their natural habitat?
For 45 minutes. Three quarters of an hour. Or just discovered a group of researchers from the Queensland University of Technology using a new method to study it.
Bacteria, bacteria everywhere
Lidia Morawska, co-director of the project, explained that pathogens not only remain viable for 45 minutes, but could travel up to four meters. Fortunately, the type of bacteria they studied (P. aeruginosa) only causes disease if there are preexisting diseases or vulnerabilities.
In addition, they found that most bacteria decay rapidly within ten minutes. However, there are concrete groups that survive much better. It is not clear why this happens, nor why there are some bacteria that survive better. It may be due to the composition of the drops or the concentration of bacteria.
Beyond the matter in question, this study is very interesting because it will allow us to better understand the air-bacterial dynamics and, above all, will allow us to better control infections in public transport, schools, health centers and hospitals.